ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce 1999
Conference paper

VRCommerce - Electronic commerce in virtual reality

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Existing technology and standards allow the creation of three-dimensional, virtual-reality browsing experience. Such an interface may be more attractive and natural (at least to some). In particular, with the increase in electronic commerce, the creation of virtual reality stores and shopping malls seems of potential value. However, there are substantial challenges in the use of existing virtual reality tools to create any large space, in particular a store or a shopping mall. The main challenges are the substantial size of the representation of the space (communication and processing overhead), difficulties of navigation using typical UI devices, and support for interconnecting separately designed spaces (stores) into one continuous virtual space (mall). We present an approach to address these challenges, based on limiting the spaces to a modular collection of basic architectural elements such as rooms and hallways. We describe our implementation of virtual-reality, three-dimensional e-commerce, and the VR Commerce toolkit, implemented using standard VRML and Java. VRCommerce is an integrated solution for creation, online operation and navigation in three dimensional malls and stores. It enables continuous navigation between separately designed and managed stores and incremental loading of spaces and objects as needed. Furthermore, VRCommerce offers simplified navigation with less decision making via a two-dimensional 'mall directory map' and automated walk modes. ©1999 ACM.



ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce 1999